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Disease, Health and Power in Latin America, 1850-1990
LAST 307
Fall 2014
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: SISP 306

When we think of historical change, we often look to people, wars, and discovery as key "moments" in history. Yet, we often overlook "biological" agents of change. Diseases, next to man, has been one of the greatest changers in human history. Smallpox, for example, a disease that is now vaccinated, decimated Mesoamerican societies after the arrival of the Spanish to the Americas. In the late 1800s, developments in contagion theory spurred the development of the modern state and the professional medical field. Phrases such as, "hygiene," "germs," and "cleanliness" became common phrases that were given class, gender, and socioeconomic connections. The state equated healthy citizens as proper modern citizens and as examples of national development. Disease was equated with rural, economic, racial, and social backwardness that required transformation from the state. Often detrimental to long term health, DDT spraying and the poisoning of the environment became common place. With the rise of globalization, diseases and health became global problems that united some nations and purposely excluded others. With this, the goals of "assisting" and "healing" became proxies for periods of neo-colonialism and questionable medical testing among unsuspecting populations. This course will examine some of the most recent scholarship and provide students with an understanding of where the field of medical history in Latin America is heading.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS LAST
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (LAST)(SISP)(SISP-ScieDblMjr)
Past Enrollment Probability: 90% or above

Last Updated on NOV-30-2023
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